The Walmart Foundation has contributed $15,000 to the CTNC to support the North Carolina Youth Conservation Corps (NCYCC). CTNC used the donation to expand the NCYCC in 2014 so more young adults can participate. The NCYCC provides paid summer jobs for 16-24 year olds, with the aim of teaching youth valuable work and life development skills through hands-on outdoor work on high priority conservation projects. Projects typically consist of trail construction and maintenance, habitat restoration, and invasive species removal.
“We appreciate Walmart’s generous support of North Carolina’s first statewide youth Conservation Corps,” said CTNC Executive Director Reid Wilson. “We’ll be able to expand the program to provide more young people with a summer job that will help them learn valuable work skills, earn money for school, and learn about North Carolina’s land and waters. Plus, more natural areas will be enhanced for public use.”
The NCYCC deployed two summer crews of youth from across the state in 2013. One crew built a 7-mile mountain bike trail for the U.S. Forest Service in the Croatan National Forest. The other crew completed a variety of projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Falls Lake Visitor Center, removed invasive species from the Eno River for North Carolina State Parks, and did trail construction and maintenance for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
“NCYCC youth work incredibly hard, often in challenging weather conditions, to complete projects that make our state’s natural lands more accessible and enjoyable to greater numbers of people,” said NCYCC Project Director Jan Pender. “We are thrilled that Walmart has enabled us to put more crews on the ground in the summer of 2014, including on local land trusts’ protected properties, so more young people and communities benefit from the program.”
“Walmart understands that programs like the NC Youth Conservation Corps are essential to providing young people with opportunities for job training and employment,” said Brooke Mueller, Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Walmart’s East Business Unit. “We’re proud to give back to the communities we serve and are confident that a large number of youths will benefit from this important program,” Mueller said.
CTNC plans to have four or five summer NCYCC crews in 2014. For more information and to apply, visit www.ctnc.org/about/ycc/nc-